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Explosive Magnetotail Activity
Johns Hopkins Univ, Appl Phys Lab, Laurel, MD 20723 USA.
Space Sci Inst, Boulder, CO USA.
Univ Calif Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095 USA.
St Petersburg State Univ, Earths Phys Dept, St Petersburg, Russia.
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2019 (English)In: Space Science Reviews, ISSN 0038-6308, E-ISSN 1572-9672, Vol. 215, no 4, article id 31Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Modes and manifestations of the explosive activity in the Earth's magnetotail, as well as its onset mechanisms and key pre-onset conditions are reviewed. Two mechanisms for the generation of the pre-onset current sheet are discussed, namely magnetic flux addition to the tail lobes, or other high-latitude perturbations, and magnetic flux evacuation from the near-Earth tail associated with dayside reconnection. Reconnection onset may require stretching and thinning of the sheet down to electron scales. It may also start in thicker sheets in regions with a tailward gradient of the equatorial magnetic field Bz; in this case it begins as an ideal-MHD instability followed by the generation of bursty bulk flows and dipolarization fronts. Indeed, remote sensing and global MHD modeling show the formation of tail regions with increased Bz, prone to magnetic reconnection, ballooning/interchange and flapping instabilities. While interchange instability may also develop in such thicker sheets, it may grow more slowly compared to tearing and cause secondary reconnection locally in the dawn-dusk direction. Post-onset transients include bursty flows and dipolarization fronts, micro-instabilities of lower-hybrid-drift and whistler waves, as well as damped global flux tube oscillations in the near-Earth region. They convert the stretched tail magnetic field energy into bulk plasma acceleration and collisionless heating, excitation of a broad spectrum of plasma waves, and collisional dissipation in the ionosphere. Collisionless heating involves ion reflection from fronts, Fermi, betatron as well as other, non-adiabatic, mechanisms. Ionospheric manifestations of some of these magnetotail phenomena are discussed. Explosive plasma phenomena observed in the laboratory, the solar corona and solar wind are also discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019. Vol. 215, no 4, article id 31
Keywords [en]
Magnetotail, Magnetic reconnection, Current sheet thinning, hump, Tearing instability, Ballooning, interchange instability, Flapping motions, Auroral beads, rays, Bursty bulk flows, Dipolarization fronts, Flux tube oscillations, Plasma micro-instabilities, Particle acceleration, Supra-arcade downflows, Laboratory reconnection experiments
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-386372DOI: 10.1007/s11214-019-0599-5ISI: 000468215000001PubMedID: 31178609OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-386372DiVA, id: diva2:1329095
Available from: 2019-06-24 Created: 2019-06-24 Last updated: 2019-06-24Bibliographically approved

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Khotyaintsev, Yuri V.
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